Comparisons have been drawn between Erling Haaland and Cristiano Ronaldo, as Manchester City team-mate Bernardo Silva praised the forward’s mentality.
- Haaland on course for record-breaking first season
- Bernardo compared “mentality” to CR7
- Feels Norwegian can emulate Ronaldo & Messi
WHAT HAPPENED? The record-breaking Norwegian is on course to obliterate the Premier League golden boot record of 34 goals set by Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-95), with 32 already to his name in just 28 league appearances. Haaland’s tally for the season currently stands at 48 goals from 42 matches across all competitions, as he bears down on Ronaldo’s career-best of 61 strikes in a single campaign (in 2014-15). And there are further similarities between the two, as Bernardo, who lines up alongside both players for club and country, outlined in an interview with Arab News.
WHAT THEY SAID: “The goal figures, it’s unbelievable; it’s Cristiano and [Lionel] Messi level, that amount of goals,” the Portugal midfielder said. “Hopefully Erling can keep going that way because we need his goals until the last game of the season. He has definitely got the same mentality as Cristiano, always wanting to be in the box, always wanting to score. He doesn’t care if he touches the ball one or two times, when he touches he scores. He’s just a proper striker.
“We knew what Erling could do before he arrived because he’s been doing that for a few years before he joined us, in Norway, Austria and Germany. We watched him and we played against him, but you never know when he comes here, what level he can get to. But what he’s done so far this season has been amazing and we are really happy to have him with us. He’s definitely a special player and he’s helping us very much. I hope he can get even better.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Key to Haaland’s – and therefore City’s – successes this season has been the partnership between the Norwegian and assist merchant Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian combined with Haaland against Southampton back on April 8 to take his Premier League tally to 100 in his career. As De Bruyne’s assists for the current campaign stands at 23, Bernardo believes the pair’s “special combination” has been key to City’s charge for the treble.
“Erling has a special combination with Kevin, who loves those kind of players like Erling,” he added. “Because when he’s got the ball you need to make runs and Erling is so strong, so quick going in behind. It’s a perfect combination and they are doing so well, as we have seen this season. The last few years we have had winning runs of 20 games, or been unbeaten, and now we are in good form again. We hope to keep it that way because we want to win the trophies. We’ve been there before.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? Pep Guardiola’s face arguably their biggest match of the season so far – and one of the most important in recent Premier League history – when they welcome fellow title challengers Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
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